Olivia Hooker recalled her experiences as one of the first African American female members in the Coast Guard SPAR program during World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A national treasure

On Nov. 23, 1942, legislation approved the implementation of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. The women who joined were more commonly known as SPARs – an acronym derived from the Coast Guard’s motto, ‘Semper Paratus, Always Ready’ – and formed the foundation for women serving today. On March 9, 1945, Olivia Hooker headed to boot camp. While women had been heading enlisting for months by then, one thing was unique about Hooker – she was one of only five African American females to first enlist in the SPAR program.


Olivia Hooker

Olivia Hooker: A SPAR’s Story

On Nov. 23, 1942, legislation approved the implementation of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve; the program known as SPAR – the acronym derived from the translations of the Coast Guard’s motto, ‘Semper Paratus, Always Ready’ – became the foundation for women in the Coast Guard today.


Doritha Dogulas

Shipmate of the Week – Lt. j.g. Doritha Douglas

On this day in 1942, legislation approved the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve to help fill jobs and free men to serve during the war effort. Women from all over the country took the oath, attended training, wore the uniform and served in shoreside positions throughout the nation. They were known as the SPARs – Semper Paratus, Always Ready! On Nov. 9, former SPAR and Coast Guard veteran Lt. j.g. Doritha Douglas was interviewed about her decision to join the SPARs and the experiences she had. Douglas is one of the oldest surviving members of the SPARs.


Dr. Olivia Hooker

Dr. Olivia Hooker: Veteran trail blazer

The following is an excerpt from the White Plains Patch reprinted with permission. Westchester County recently presented Dr. Olivia Hooker, a World War II Coast Guard SPAR and one of the first African American women to enlist in the service, […]


Alaska

Your Coast Guard in 2011 – Alaska

With an increasing number of eyes on the Arctic, Coast Guardsmen spent 2011 testing capabilities, building partnerships and rapport with Native Alaskans and keeping a vigilant watch above the Arctic Circle in some of the most challenging marine operation environments on the planet.


Elfie

Shipmate of the Week – Elfie Larkin

UPDATE: The spelling of Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge’s name was corrected in paragraph eight. Written by Chief Petty Officer Sarah Foster, 11th Coast Guard District. At the Oakland Zoo, where Elfie Larkin volunteered as a docent for more than 32 […]


SPAR

Making waves: CAPT Eleanor L’Ecuyer

On this important date for women in the military – the anniversary of the SPARs – the Coast Guard celebrates all of these trailblazing women by highlighting the noteworthy efforts of Capt. Eleanor C. L’Ecuyer. Written by Petty Officer 1st […]


100722-G-5880R-139 CG SPARS Luncheon

SPARs Day: A day to remember

“A tremendous tribute.”  - Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, Coast Guard Vice Commandant The massive, brand new 418-foot cutter provides surprisingly little shade on the hot and sunny pier in Pascagoula, Miss., where the Coast Guard’s most influential female leaders from […]


History: The Women’s Reserve, America’s backbone

This month’s history post comes to us from the Coast Guard’s 13th District and tells the story of some of the first SPARs to report for duty in the Pacific Northwest. The sacrifices made by the SPARs and their counterparts […]


itCG – Innovation Expo, pirates repelled, First Lady honors women vets, Guardians in the community

YouTube DoDLive The Ninth Coast Guard Innovation Expo wraps up today. Yesterday’s focus was on harnessing the power of Guardian innovators. While the private sector can be a powerful force for progress, some of the best ideas come from right […]


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